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hobo

Washing the Ollie etiquette question

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Picking up our trailer on 1 May and this is our first camping RV.

 

So when we arrive at a camping destination that is full service, what are the rules on washing the grit, grime, road spray off of the trailer?  Are there places at campgrounds for doing this or it frowned upon?  Just wondering how to keep it reasonably clean while out on the road.

 

Thanks for entertaining another "newbie" question.

 

Hobo

 

 


2018 Elite II, Hull #414 (the very last 2018 produced).  Trailer name "2 HOBOS" .   2006 Dodge 3500 Megacab, 4x4 with 5.9L Cummins diesel.

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Many camogrounds frown on, or prohibit, washing your trailer in your campsite. Wastes water, can leave a mess, and neighbors complain...

Best to take it to a do it yourself carwash. Make sure you have the height clearance in the stall--your Ollie is a lot taller than most vehicles.

Good question. Ask away.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Don’t wash at the campground, it usually pisses everybody off. Maybe if you were a long term resident and the trailer was parked for months, if the owner agreed. A wipe down with detailing spray is fine.

 

Here is a tip..... use Rejex on the trailer and TV, especially on the roof and front. It is so slick that bugs and tree drippings do not stick very well. Some users say “the bugs just rinse off”; LOL that isn’t even close to true. But cleaning is way, WAY easier. I got my Land Cruiser completely covered in mud when exploring thawing dirt backroads in late winter. I used a quarter car wash at a small town and blasted off 95% of it using only the fresh water rinse mode, no nasty harsh soap or scrubbing was needed.

 

Washing this way gets it pretty darned clean, and you can get out your ladder and take off the bugs from the front and solar panel, and wipe the windows and wheels with a good detail spray like Griots Speed Shine.

 

I normally don’t bother to do a complete wash on a trip, but my longest one was three weeks. If you are a marathoner, you need to be able to clean it somewhat on the road. If I did both vehicles, I would wash the Ollie first, and then do the TV later with more care without the trailer attached so I didn't blow junk onto the clean trailer. Most people want their TV to look nice (you are always seeing crusty old farts spending hours fussing with getting bugs out of the chrome grills of their HD trucks) and they seem to be less concerned about a completely spotless trailer.

 

Finally, if your climate has morning dew, attack the bugs daily by hand on the grill and windshield, and the front of the trailer, while they are soaking wet and they will come off quite easily. When they are like dried epoxy and the surface is scorching hot you risk scratching the surfaces by scrubbing too hard....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Forgot, if you drive an older diesel like your ‘06 Ram with no emissions, or one that has had them deleted, you will always have black soot buildup behind the tailpipe during a long trip. Rejex makes it much easier to remove it from the paint, tailgate and bumper.

 

When I towed with mine, I never noticed any soot on the trailer, even after 3000 miles. I’m not sure the reason for that.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John has a good point about the bugs.  Many of them - most of them - perhaps all of them are acidic.  Therefore they will eat into whatever wax you have applied if you leave them there for too long.  There are a number of other waxes and "detailer" products that will do the job.  If you have a good base of wax on that nose almost any of the "detailers" on the market will get them off without a bunch of work but it is certainly easier and more friendly to the surface of your Oliver to do this cleaning when the bugs have had a chance to soften a bit with dew or rain.  I've found that the products sold specifically to remove bugs are only marginally useful when applied prior to a normal washing.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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My Ollie is on the road for over 100 days during the summer and washing while traveling is essential.  Whether you use Rejex or Meguires Flagship Marine wax (Very similar to Rejex, but quite a bit less costly) about once a week, a wash is essential.  Upon arrival at a Military Family RV Camp, I make it a point to politely ask the park manager his policy on washing of RV's.  At military FAMCAMPS, it is OK about 90% of the time.  However, rarely is it permissible to to wash the Tow Vehicle (TV).

 

That said, the etiquette question still comes into play.  How you wash your trailer makes a lot of difference.  Some suggestions on etiquette washing that I follow are:

If the trailer has mud on it, don't wash it at the FAMCAMP.

I don't wash Ollie if there is any possibility of disturbing others.

I try not to waste water (and protect your trailer's finish) by using a two bucket approach.

I use absolutely the minimum amount of soap necessary if any!

I use biodegradable soap and use it very sparingly.

I make sure that is no runoff from my parking area.

I make near zero sound when washing  (No conversations, music, high velocity water noise, bucket bumping, are examples to avoid.)

I wash Ollie at a reasonable hour, not when the neighbors are asleep.

If there is any doubt, or if I do not have explicit permission, the I won't wash Ollie.

If I can not wash my Ollie within these parameters, then I'll either go to the base car wash before arriving or when departing the FAMCAMP.

 

If not at a military FAMCAMP, then I follow John and SeaDawg's advice.

 

One final thought:  Never, never ever wash anything outside of your rig at a Walmart Super-center or other establishment which has been so kind to allow us to park overnight.  Frankly etiquette at these wonderful locations should be taken to an extreme, and deserves a separate thread.

 

Welcome to our Oliver Family!

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

ALAZARCACOIDKSKYLAMSNENVNMNCOKORTNTXUTVA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m often away from home for 5-6 weeks with my Elite II. Both the tow vehicle and camper get pretty dirty because of dirt/gravel roads, rain, bugs, etc. Car washes are ok, but I haven’t found them very effective. My preferred method is to find a good truck wash. It’s not inexpensive—you may pay as much as $50-$60 to get the tow vehicle and camper washed, but often they do an excellent job. One of the best I’ve found was Exit 96 Truck and RV Wash in Missoula, Montana. A new truck wash opened near my home and I now stop there before putting my Oliver in storage. They only charge $30 and that makes it an easy decision for me. It usually takes me at least 90 minutes to hand wash my camper after a trip.

 

One caveat: you may have to wait at a truck and RV wash. At the one in Missoula, I waited about 45 minutes and the wash took about 30 minutes.

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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My preferred method is to find a good truck wash. It’s not inexpensive—you may pay as much as $50-$60 to get the tow vehicle and camper washed, but often they do an excellent job. 

 

I have never even considered a truck wash. Can you tell us how they work? Are they automatic, are there rotating brushes? Blow dry? Do you worry about damage to all the stuff up top?

 

I am pretty anal about the finish on my vehicles and Ollie. I loathe drive-through car washes that scratch the paint with stiff rotating fibers or brushless floppy things, and won’t use one, ever. I don’t even like the harsh soaps that are used at the quarter car washes, so I won’t use more than the rinse cycle and never the brush on a stick. I do use a commercial place in the winter when it is too cold to do it myself, to get off the deicer, but it is a pressure pre-rinse followed by a hand wash. And they only do a 6 out of 10 star job, at best. And it does scratch, so I have to rewax in the spring.

 

https://jalopnik.com/heres-why-you-should-never-take-your-car-to-a-carwash-1821475097

 

OTH a lot of people don’t really care very much about their paint, especially if they change vehicles often. But if you want to keep it twenty years, you should....

 

Thanks for any comments on the truck wash. I would like to see a pic of your Ollie parked among a bunch of big rigs.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 2

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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@ John D:

 

Thanks for the good read.  Posted within is a link to "How to Wash Your Car Show Style".  To save readers time, the YouTube link is:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOt--yizRoc

 

Before watching this riveting and informative video, I recommend having a full cup of coffee (AM) or beverage of choice (PM).  You'll know why when the video is over.  :-).

 

I thought I knew all the ins and outs of the two bucket approach, but learned a bunch.  So, thanks John D!

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Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

ALAZARCACOIDKSKYLAMSNENVNMNCOKORTNTXUTVA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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